The people we know as masters don’t devote themselves to their particular skill just to get better at it. The truth is, they love to practice—and because of this they do get better. And then to complete the circle, the better they get the more they enjoy performing the basic moves over and over again.
—George Leonard, Mastery
The pattern I will be talking about in this blog post from the Apprenticeship Patterns book is the “Practice, practice, practice” pattern. What we can understand from the title of this pattern, is that practice is the solution to learning things in general and is the only way that can make things easier.
As George Leonard has described in this pattern, based on context to develop concrete skills in new areas, we will try our best to get better at the things we do. I totally agree with this context of trying to develop our skills. We always need to practice new things and not only the thing we have known better. It won’t help us for sure.
There is an expression in English that says: practice makes perfect. This expression is used for encouraging someone to continue to do something many times, in a way that the person will learn to do it really well. Specifically, this phrase means that if we practice something enough, eventually we will be able to do it perfectly. But George doesn’t agree at this point. He thinks that in fact, practice makes permanent. The only reason he says that, is because we need to choose the right thing to practice every day. And this thing, according to him, is the most important skill than repeating practice. I totally agree with him at this point. When it comes to practice, we have to know what we are doing and learn it in a perfect way. And then we need to try a new exercise to solve and then practice it.
That said, when I first started to work on programming I needed some time to fit in and learn new things. It was some hard and at the same time, it was slow and something that looked so difficult to be comfortable with. But the good thing was that my school was a post-secondary and was based on practice. I did two years in a rowing practice and then we had a theory part. This was really helpful for us as new programmers. By practice, we learned a lot. And here I am after some years, practicing again for new programs and learning every day a new thing that can be useful in the future.